Monday, 15 August 2022 – 00:08

Keir Starmer outlines vision of “security, prosperity and respect” for UK

In his first major speech of 2022, Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition, outlined the Labour party’s vision of the UK’s future.

Labour has shot up in recent opinion polls following various alleged scandals surrounding members of the government. The speech, given on Tuesday in Birmingham, included criticisms of the prime minister, with Starmer saying:

“I don’t think politics is a branch of the entertainment industry. I think it’s the serious business of getting things done. … We have a prime minister who thinks the rules apply to anyone but him”

“This is not about the flaws of one individual; it’s about the flaws of a whole style of government; the flaws of an ideology; the flaws of a government that has been in power for too long. … The tory party is gearing up for a leadership fight, too busy
squabbling over their leadership to provide any.”

Birmingham, a region where the Conservatives made significant gains in the 2019 general election is a significant target area for Keir Starmer’s Labour Party, as he sets his sights on a victory at the next general election. The speech comes just days after polling revealed he held an almost 20 point lead over Boris Johnson in the ‘red wall’ seats.

Starmer also accused the Conservative’s of having lost the public’s trust, bringing up recent scandals regarding alleged Christmas parties during lockdown, but qualified it by saying:

“Just because the Tories lose the public’s trust it doesn’t mean Labour simply inherits it. Trust has to be earned. I am confident but not complacent about the task ahead.”

Keir Starmer continued his effort to reframe Labour as being patriotic, pro-business and tough-on-crime. He promised that “Labour will provide crime prevention teams in every neighbourhood. New police hubs will be visible in every community.” and that “Labour would create 100000 new startup businesses and new hubs of excellence building on existing strengths”.

Regarding Labour’s past record, Starmer said:

“The titans of 1945 [created] the NHS, for which we are so thankful for today … created Nato, … laid the foundations for the end of empire and the modern commonwealth. Under Wilson, the open university extended higher education, the race relations act prohibited racial discrimination. The Blair government introduced a national minimum wage and repaired the public services that had been neglected under the tories. Nobody can look on that record and say that labour is not a patriotic party.”

“These three chapters of change, Attlee, Wilson and Blair, made Britain a better country, we must be the people who write the fourth chapter. Those Labour governments had the ambition to … extend security, prosperity and respect to all – this is the tradition we embrace and the mission we inherit.”

The speech also touched on how Labour would work on changing the NHS’ focus from emergency to preventative care, along with warnings of approaching tax increases and a looming cost-of-living crisis.

Starmer concluded his speech optimistically with:

“I believe that the best still lies ahead for this country, but only if we have the courage to create a new britain, a country in which you and your family get the security, prosperity and respect you deserve. My contract with the british people will set out how we will create that new britain.”

The Conservatives dismissed the speech as being the “same old platitudes”, with Conservative party Chairman, Oliver Dowden, describing Starmer as “out of touch”.

Not everyone agrees with Keir Starmer’s analysis of the Labour party’s record, with more than 500,000 signing a petition for Tony Blair’s Knighthood to be rescinded and accusing the former Prime Minister of war crimes due to his role in the Iraq war.

Regarding the petition, Starmer said:

“I don’t think it’s thorny at all. I think he deserves the honour. … Tony Blair was a very successful prime minister of this country and made a huge difference to the lives of millions of people”.

Keir Starmer also stated that he does not believe that Boris Johnson is deserving of a knighthood once his role as Prime Minister comes to an end.

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